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Full text of "NightRider"

120

that by itself doesn't mean the offers oughtn't to be accepted.
That just occurred to me."

"It occurred to me a long time before you even started
reading any offers," Mr. Christian muttered, as though to
himself. He was lounging back in his chair, his booted legs
stuck straight out under the table and his black felt on the
green baize before him. Red-clay mud clung to his boots,
for he had just ridden in from his place; and the hat made a
dark ring of spreading moisture on the faded colour of the
baize. It was still raining, the water sluicing oilily down the
grey panes of the windows that overlooked the alley back of
the bank building.

" Ten dollars a hundred," Mr. Peacham remarked medita-
tively. " I've sure God seen the time I wished I could get
that for my leaf. Last year, now."

"Me, too," Mr. Christian said, "but this ain't last year."

" Before the discussion starts-----" Mr. Sills began.

"What!" Mr. Christian exclaimed with a ponderous
sarcasm, " you mean there's gonna be some discussion of that
figure?"

"Before the discussion starts, I might remind the gentle-
men here that what would have been an advantageous price
to a private grower in the past is not necessarily an advan-
tageous price under the present circumstances. We've got a
considerable investment in warehousing right now. There's
the interest on that investment to be considered. And the
interest on sums outstanding as advances to growers whose
condition made financial assistance imperative. And the
costs of handling the tobacco. In calculating what would be
a fair return to the individual grower we must take into
consideration the Association demand to defray these neces-
sary expenses, I can give you the precise amount"—he began
t*» shuffle through the stacks of papers before him, his colour-
km eyes peering through his spectacles—-" that should be.
olfed for per thousand pounds, And as you gentlemen
know, you have to add to that amount the percentage on the
ffm price for the Association sinking fund." He continued